I was first introduced to retrievers when I was in High School. There was a pro trainer named Sid Sherwood that lived down the road that was friends with my father and they regularly trained together, and ran events. I would go out from time to time and shoot flyers or throw birds for their dogs. After a few years of helping out I decided I needed to get a dog of my own. My dad’s dog had sired a litter of puppies with one of Sid’s dogs. Sid was one of the founding fathers of the Midnight Sun Gun Dog Association and one of the reasons why NAHRA was in Alaska. From the time my dog was a pup I was included into the training group not only to shoot flyers or throw birds, but to have the chance to get my dog some work too. I also joined the local retriever club and a national organization, NAHRA. Thanks to my dad and Sid, I titled that first puppy of mine to the MHR level. I currently have 2 other dogs. My female Lab is a GMHR and my young dog will be running NAHRA Senior events this year, I have high hopes for him and hope that he can join the ranks as well as my other dogs have in the NAHRA program.
I first served as “Gun Captain” for the Midnight Sun Gun Dog Association, and officially joined the board in 2000. In 2008 I was elected as President of MSGDA I currently hold that position. I got more involved with NAHRA when former Alaska Regional Directors Kent Bull, my father and John Johnson thought it was about time that I step up and become the Regional Director for NAHRA. I had no problems doing that and I am currently on my second term of being the NAHRA Regional Director of Alaska. I feel that it is my time to give back to the organization that has been there for me. NAHRA to me is about great dog work and great people. I have been lucky enough to meet some of these people and see some great dog work while running dogs and judging here in Alaska as well other NAHRA regions. I plan on continuing to work hard for NAHRA and its members.
I have seen firsthand how a NAHRA titled retriever are a true conservation tool, a few years back when my father, his dog Doc, and I were on a Pheasant hunt near Kimberly Oregon. We entered a thick grassy area and in a matter of seconds had four rooster birds down. We saw that one had gotten up and started to run. Doc was on the trail of that crippled Pheasant and was trailing him for quite some time. Losing sight of the dog we had started to get a little nervous, then Doc returned with the pheasant. He delivered it to hand and my dad then sent him to pick up the rest of the downed birds. Without NAHRA we would have lost the pheasant.